The History of Oklahoma Biographies Vol. II
by Luther B. Hill
SAMUEL J. LOGAN
One of the large farmers and old settlers of McIntosh County, was born in the neighborhood of his present home, then in the Creek Nation, in 1856. Mr. Logan, the father, and Sallie Logan, his wife, were both full-blood Creeks, although he was a relative of the Fifes of the neighborhood, who were of mixed blood, Creeks and whites. Mrs. Logan came from an old Creek family that emigrated from Alabama.
Mr. Logan was a successful stockman and in a small way a farmer; he died when Samuel J. was a small boy, leaving two children. Samuel and a daughter, Sarah (deceased), wife of John Laslie, a Creek Indian. After the death of Mr. Logan his widow married Henry Washington, also a full-blood Creek, and they had two children, both deceased, so that of the family Samuel J. Logan is the only survivor.
Samuel J. Logan spent four years, from 1873 to 1877, in the Asbury Manual Labor School at Eufaula, and during 1878-9 attended a college in Lagrange, Missouri. In 1881-2 he taught school near his home, after passing the examination held by the Board of Instructors. In 1883-5 Mr. Logan was employed in the store of Henry Fisher at Fishertown. In the latter year he married Eliza J., a daughter of George and Susan (Herrod) Walker, both half-blood Creeks. The Walker family did not come with the early Creeks, but came to the territory a number of years later, either from Alabama or Georgia. They were the parents of three children, namely: E. H., of Stidham; Eliza (deceased), who became Mrs. Logan; and Mary H., the present wife of Mr. Logan. After the death of Mr. Walker his widow married Henry Island, and they reared a family of six children, namely: William P.: Bonaparte; Lena deceased), wife of William Franklin, a white man: Millie (deceased), wife of David Washington; Susan, wife of Thomas McIntosh; and John II., deceased.
After Mr. Logan's first marriage he again engaged in teaching, and while thus employed his wife died. Some time later he married her sister, Mary II. Walker, and engaged in farming on the north fork of the Canadian river, where he still resides. He has several hundred acres of as fine land as can be found in the state, a large part of which is under a high state of cultivation. He has all the comforts to be found anywhere in the region, and a handsome residence.
In 1901 Mr. Logan was a member of the House of Kings of the Creek Nation; he still retains his office, though the business of the house has greatly diminished since statehood. The house enacts laws for the nation, subject to the approval and action of the secretary of the interior or president of the United States. To the Creek nation this answered nearly the purpose of the United States senate with relation to the Federal government, and election to the house was one of the highest honors that could be conferred; most of the members were full blood Creeks, though there were a few of mixed blood. The members are elected for four years, and Mr. Logan is now serving his third term.
Mr. Logan is one of. the most successful Indian farmers of McIntosh County, and one of its most highly respected citizens. He takes a commendable interest in the growth and development of his country, being a life-long resident of the vicinity. Politically he is a Democrat, and is a well read, intelligent member of society. Mrs. Logan is a member of the Baptist church. Although Mr. Logan is not an active member of the church, his mother was a life-long member, and was reared in the faith. Soon after coming to the territory she greatly offended the Creeks by her close adherence to the faith, and at one time was severely whipped by a committee and a chief of the Creeks, as at that time the Indians greatly objected to the missionary work of the churches. However, she never wavered in her allegiance to the religion of her steadfast faith, and always did what she could for the cause.
By his first marriage Mr. Logan had one daughter, Bessie M., and by his second marriage had no children. His sister Sarah was twice married, first to George Washington, by whom she had one child, David. Her second marriage was to John Lasen, by whom she had two children, Lena, wife of John Fox, and Tecumseh, deceased. The above mentioned are all the blood relations of Mr. Logan.
Noteworthy among the extensive and prosperous agriculturists of Craig County is Sam Leforce, who for many years was actively interested in general farming and stock-raising, but now confines his time and attention almost entirely to stock dealing and shipping. He has been a resident of Vinita for nearly a quarter of a century, during which time he has traveled extensively in the central states, his business as a stock buyer calling him to many parts of the Union. He was born January 22. 1864, a son of John B. Leforce, the descendant of a pioneer family of Kentucky.
John B. Leforce was born, in 1839, in Kentucky, and during his active career was engaged the greater part of the time in general farming. Public-spirited and loyal to his country, he served as a soldier in the Civil war, being a member of the Union army for three and one-half years. Coming to the Indian Territory in 1886, he continued his agricultural labors, for a number of years making a specialty of raising stock. He is now living retired in Vinita. He married Amanda Blankenship, a daughter of Anderson and Eliza Blankenship, of Kentucky, and of the eight children born of their union two died in childhood, and six are living, as follows: Jim, who married Fannie Keys, of Vinita; Mollie, wife of Charles A. Banzet, of Labette County, Kansas; Viola, wife of N. B. Chamberlain, of Pleasant Hill, Oklahoma; E. E., unmarried; Clara, wife of Russell Hunt, of Vinita; and C. W. who married Grace Chamberlain, of Centralia. Oklahoma.
His parents moving to Illinois in 1866, Sam Leforce lived in Crawford County, that state, one year, and the following seven years was in Howell, Missouri, where he first attended school. Going then with the family to Labette County, Kansas, he continued his studies there for a short time, receiving a limited knowledge, of the common branches of learning, his time being mostly employed on the farm. Coming to the Cherokee nation in 1886, Mr. Leforce located near Vinita, where he has since resided. Resuming the occupation to which he was reared, he met with genuine success as a tiller of the soil, and is now equally successful as a stock buyer and shipper, his operations being extensive and well paying.
Mr. Leforce is a steadfast Republican, active in party ranks, and for a number of terms served as school director of the Indian Territory. In November, 1907, at the first election, ho was chosen councilman from the first ward of Vinita. He also ran for county treasurer, but was defeated by Colonel Ficklin of Craig County.
Mr. Leforce married on October 26, 1887, Sallie Keys, a daughter of Monroe and Lucy Keys, Cherokee Indians, well educated and true Christian people and belonging to the best families of the Cherokee Nation. Mrs. Lucy Keys is a granddaughter of one of the old Cherokee chiefs. George Lowery. Mr. and Mrs. Keys raised a family of seven children, all married and living near their mother, their father having died in 1881. They are: Mrs. Mary Balentine, Mrs. Lydia Taylor, Mrs. Fannie Leforce, Mrs. Sallie Leforce, Mrs. Lizzie Athey, Monroe Keys and Mrs. Lucy Miles.
WILLIAM I. BRANAN
One of the largest farmers of Webbers Falls, was born in Georgia, in 1864, a son of George I. and Nancy Balkcom Branan. His paternal ancestors came to America from Ireland previous to the Revolution, and settled in South Carolina, moving from there to Georgia. His grandfather, Caswell Branan, was among the first settlers in Georgia, his father having settled there in 1790. Caswell was born in Wilkinson County. Georgia, in 1807; his father reared a family of fourteen children, none of whom died before the age of sixty, and several reached the age of ninety.
George I. Branan was a soldier of the Virginia Army on the side of the Confederacy and participated in a number of the most important engagements as a non-commissioned officer, among them being the battle of Seven Pines. He was among those to surrender at Vicksburg, Mississippi, July 4, 1863. He and his wife were the parents of ten children, eight of whom grew to maturity, namely: William I.; Ophelia, wife of ,T. F. Lingo: Virgil C., deceased; Paris, wife of William Pace: James C.: Vannie, deceased; C. F.; Mabel, wife of Charles Gladden; Lorah, wife of W. H. Freeman; and Daisy, wife of C. J. Hicks, a dentist. Mr. Branan died in 1896 and his widow still survives. She was born in Twiggs County, Georgia, in 1844, and is a daughter of Major James Balkcom, who was born in North Carolina in 1810, and was a son of Ichabod Balkcom born in Massachusetts. Ichabod was a son or grandson of Baruch Balkcom, born in Attleboro, Massachusetts, January 12, 1692, who in turn was a son of Alexander Balkcom, born in Providence, Rhode Island, about 1660, and his father was born in Sussexshire, England, and came to America, probably as early as 1655. Mrs. Branan's parents were the parents of eight children who lived to maturity, namely: W. T., who was killed during the Civil war; Lafayette; Lucinda, deceased, wife of Dr. Thomas Gibson; Frank; Nancy, Mrs. Branan; M. C., of Macon, Georgia; Judge C. C., of Macon; and H. V., of Macon. Mrs. Branan resides at her home in Georgia.
William I. Branan was educated in Georgia, where he learned farm work as well, and at the age of eighteen years he went to Atlanta and engaged with his uncle in the coal business for a year and a half. He then started west, and arrived in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in the fall of 1884. and there remained one year, finding various forms of employment. In the fall of 1885 he removed to Webbers Falls and began farming on rented land, and about 1890 moved to Texas. He remained in that state until the fall of 1892, when he returned to Webbers Falls and was employed as bookkeeper for V. S. Hayes some little time. Later he entered mercantile business at Illinois, Oklahoma, being employed by the same firm. In 1904 Mr. Branan went to California, and after remaining a year returned and again engaged in farming, which has since been his occupation. He kept books six years for Blackstone & Hayes.
Being an enterprising farmer, Mr. Branan introduced the raising of potatoes on the south side of the Arkansas river, and also was the person to introduce alfalfa to the section. He himself cultivates three hundred acres of fine bottom land, and also does extensive farming in northern Louisiana: in both places his largest crop is Irish potatoes, of which he has made a specialty until he is able to acquire the maximum of profit from his industry.
Mr. Branan takes great interest in higher education, and has devoted considerable time and money towards improving the schools of his section of the state. He has filled several minor offices, and was the last mayor of Webbers Falls; the town has since statehood been governed by a board of trustees. In politics he is a Democrat; he is a member of the Baptist church, in which he is a deacon. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He has belonged to Webbers Falls Lodge No. 14. Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, for twenty years, and is also a member of the Royal Arch Masons. Sequoyah Chapter No. 8; he has passed through the chairs of the Blue Lodge and has been secretary of the Chapter. He takes an active interest in all things pertaining to the welfare and development of his adopted state, and is known for one of the most public spirited citizens in the county in which he resides.
In 1894 Mr. Branan married Emma Hanks, daughter of Calvin J. and Emma W. McCoy) Hanks; her paternal ancestors came originally from Tennessee to this state, and had previously immigrated to America from England. The McCoy family were originally from Scotland, and they intermarried with the Cherokees. Her parents were related to the Cherokees, Mrs. Branan being one-sixteenth Cherokee. Calvin J. Hanks and his wife were the parents of five children, namely: Maggie, wife of John McEachu, of Sallisaw, Oklahoma; May, wife of Frank Rhoma, deceased; Daisy; Emma, Mrs. Branan; and Calvin, who was in the United States Government service, and died in the Philippine Islands. Mr. Hanks died May 16, 1878, and his widow died in 1900. Mr. and Mrs. Branan became the parents of eight children, of whom the following seven survive: Clifford B. , Edward H., William C., Virgil C, George F., Herbert L. and Nancy E.
Holding a place of prominence among the active and influential citizens of Choteau, Mayes County, Oklahoma, is Valentine Gray, who has been intimately associated with the best interests of this section of the slate for forty years, and has been extremely useful in promoting its growth and prosperity. He was born, November 14, 1833. in Jackson County, Missouri, of Irish and English stock. His father, William Gray, born in 1801, in Virginia, was engaged in agricultural pursuits in his native state until 1833, when he moved with his family to the western frontier. Locating in Jackson County, Missouri, he took up land, and until his death was employed in stock-raising. He married Elizabeth Thrash, a daughter of Andy Thrash, of Virginia, and they became the parents of ten children, as follows: John; Joseph: James; Rachel; Amanda, wife of John Taylor, of Jackson County, Missouri; William Buchana; Hugh H.; Thomas; Floyd: and Valentine.
Receiving a very limited education in the pioneer schools of Missouri. Valentine Gray began farming and stock raising when young, and continued those pursuits until 1852. Joining a band of emigrants in that year he journeyed in an ox wagon across the plains to California, the golden El Dorado for the young and ambitious. Arriving there, Mr. Gray was employed in teaming and hauling lumber for many seasons. Coming to Oklahoma in July. 1869. he located in what is now Mayes County, and for awhile resumed his early occupation of a farmer and stock-grower. He is now engaged in mercantile and banking pursuits, having a large general store, and being president of the Choteau Trust and Banking Company, of Choteau. his home city. He is also one of the founders of the Mid-Continent Life Insurance Company of Muskogee. He is a. Democrat in politics, and in 1894 was counselor at Tahlequah under the Cherokee government.
Mr. Gray married first Mary Ann Rogers, of Mayes County, a daughter of William Rogers, a Cherokee. She died in February, 1901. before taking allotment, leaving two children, Fanny and Annie. Annie, deceased, married R. A. Carrington, of Warrensburg, Missouri, and Fanny, is the widow of Dr. Adair. Mr. Gray married for his second wife Mrs. Susie (Choate) Taylor, a daughter of John B. Choate and widow of Robert S. Taylor, of Pennsylvania, who left her at his death with one child, Alma R. Taylor, who lives with Mr. and Mrs. Gray. Miss Taylor has been cashier of the Choteau Trust and Banking Company since she graduated from college.
Many of the thriving agriculturists of Oklahoma are of foreign birth and breeding, noteworthy among the number being Daniel Young, who is prosperously employed in tilling the soil on his well-kept farm in Rex, Muskogee County. He was born, June 14, 1844, in Bavaria, Germany, the birthplace likewise of his father Nicholas Young. Nicholas Young became a farmer in his native country, and in addition to tilling the soil dealt in grain to quite an extent. He is still living there as far as his son Daniel knows, although nothing has been heard from him for some time. He married a widow with children, and they reared a family of their own.
During the days of his boyhood and youth Daniel Young, under the compulsory law of the Fatherland, attended school eight years in Hamburg. At the age of sixteen years, in 1801, he bade farewell to his parents, and came to the United States, the land of great promise to this ambitious German youth. Joining the Union army a few months later, he served faithfully for three years, doing his duty in camp and on the field. At the battle of Gettysburg he was badly wounded, and is now drawing a pension from the government. Returning to Tiffin, Seneca County, Ohio, after receiving his honorable discharge, Mr. Young remained in that vicinity a short time, and then migrated to Springfield, Greene County, Missouri. Locating in Muskogee County, Oklahoma, in 1868, he followed his trade of a gunsmith at Fort Gibson for awhile, making some money at the work. In the meantime Mr. Young married, and in 1873 he bought the improvements on the land which he now owns and occupies, it having been his wife's allotment. Prosperity smiled on his undertakings, and he has now a fertile and finely-producing farm, which he is managing with satisfactory pecuniary results. Politically Mr. Young is identified with the Republicans.
Mr. Young married, at Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, in I860, Louisa Clark, who was born, March 18 1848, in Maysville, Oklahoma a daughter of H. and Mary Clark. Mrs. Young acquired her early education at the missionary school at Park Hill afterward continuing her studies at the Cherokee Seminary in Tahlequah. Mr. and Mrs. Young have lost two children. Will and Mary having passed away in childhood, and have seven living, namely: Tom, Kate, Sue, Lucy, Minnie, Daniel and Jesse.
ANDREW J. HANKY
An extensive and skillful agriculturist, Andrew J. Haney holds a position of note among the leading citizens of Texanna, where he is carrying on general fanning and stock-raising on an extensive scale, making a specialty of breeding horses of a high grade. A son of B. L. Haney, he was born, in 1877, in Wright County, Missouri, and was there bred and educated. B. L. Haney was born in Missouri, where he began his active career as an agriculturist. He subsequently lived for about six years in Texas, from there coming to the Indian Territory, and in 1908 taking up his residence in Texanna, McIntosh County, where he is now living, retired, retired from active business. He married, in Camden County, Missouri, Mrs. Eliza (Shelton) Green, whose first husband died in early life, leaving her with one child, James Green, now living in Lamar, Oklahoma. Two children were born of their union, namely: Andrew J., the subject of this sketch; and his twin sister, Mollie. Mollie Haney married Charles Owen, who died in 1907, leaving her with six children.
Educated principally in the district schools of his native county, Andrew J. Haney spent six years in Texas with his parents, and subsequently came with the family to the Territory. In 1899 he located in Texanna, McIntosh County, which at that time had three stores, its present number, although they were owned and managed by different merchants. Most of the residents of McIntosh County were then pure-blooded whites, although there have since been quite a number of inter-marriages with the Indians. On coming to Texanna Mr. Haney leased a tract of land and began farming on a limited scale. He has gradually enlarged his operations, and is now known as one of the most successful stock raisers in this part of the state. He makes a specialty of breeding driving horses, owning one of the most noted Cold Deck stallions to be found in this vicinity, having also some very fine thoroughbred mares of a high grade. He has won a wide reputation as a horse breeder and raiser, and has no trouble in getting the highest market price for the foals which he raises. His farm is large, one hundred and sixty acres of it being under a high state of cultivation, and bearing each season abundant crops of wheat, corn and hay, while he has three hundred and twenty acres of excellent hay and pasture land.
Mr. Haney married, June 8, 1900, Mrs. Roxie (Howell) Quinton, who is one-sixteenth Cherokee Indian. Her father, Isaac Howell, was born in Alabama, and moved from there with the Cherokee Indians to Arkansas, where he married Rebecca Woods, who journeyed from Alabama to Arkansas at the same time. Soon after their marriage they came to the Cherokee Nation, and here spent the remainder of their lives. During the Civil war Mr. Howell served for some time in the Confederate army. Mr. and Mrs. Howell reared five children, as follows: Mose, who died in McIntosh County; Mattie, wife of Jeff Whisenhunt, of Rogers County; Roxie, now Mrs. Haney; Elizabeth, deceased, was the wife of Robert Mitchell, of Rogers County; and Lee, of Texanna.
Mr. and Mrs. Haney have two children, Jay T. and Mattie F. By her marriage with Mr. Quinton Mrs. Haney had four children, namely: Ethel M., Isaac, Nancy E. and Etta. Mrs. Haney is a most estimable woman, and a consistent member of the Baptist church. Politically Mr. Haney is an earnest supporter of the principles of the Republican party.
One of the old settlers and a farmer of Texanna, Oklahoma, was born near what was the Tahlequah District, near the town of Tahlequah. He is a son of James and Peggie (Wicked) Harman. Peggie Wicked was a daughter of Josiah Wicked, whose wife was a full-blood Cherokee. James Harman was a white man, and was reared in Tennessee; he came to the territory before his marriage, and was a soldier stationed at Fort Gibson. He was married about 1842, and might be called one of the pioneer settlers. He engaged in farming and stock raising after his marriage, and was the pioneer millwright of the sections; he put up many of the first grist and other mills erected in an early day, and came to be one of the best known men in the Cherokee country. He lived near Tahlequah until the beginning of the war, and then moved his family to Red River, Texas, where he died in 1865, and his widow two years later. They reared to maturity a family as follows: Charles; Mary, deceased; Sallie, deceased, wife of Isaac Usery; Jessie, who resides near Childress Station, Texas; John, deceased; Bettie, wife of J. Frank Phillips; and Eliza, deceased. After the death of her husband Mrs. Harman started back with her family to the Cherokee Nation, but died in the Choctaw Nation. The burden of providing for the family then fell upon the son Charles, and he was able to provide for the family so well that his sisters never left the home he made until they married.
Charles Harman became a member of a company raised by Captain Blue Alberty, of Stand Watie's Regiment, and served six months, then joined the company of Captain Mose Fay, a Cherokee, with whom he served two years in the nation. At the expiration of this time he became a member of Captain Sam Gunter's Company, with General Stand Waitie, with whom the rest of his service was spent. At the close of the war Mr. Harman began farming near Webbers Falls, Muskogee County, Oklahoma, and resided there until 1869, when he removed to Texanna, in which section he has since made his home. He came to the present place in 1894. He has under good cultivation some one hundred acres of fine land, and is also engaged extensively in raising horses and cattle. Politically he is one of the "Old Line" Democrats. He takes an active interest in public affairs, and is accorded the full confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens. He is well known in the community where he has a host of friends.
Mr. Harman has been twice married, first, in 1872, to Celia, daughter of John and Nancy (Rodgers) McDaniel. Both the McDaniel and Rodgers families were of English and Cherokee descent, and the latter is one of the old families to be found around Fort Gibson, being mentioned at length in connection with the sketch of Otto Rodgers, of Fort Gibson, to be found elsewhere in this work. Mr. Harman and his wife had three children, namely: Nannie (deceased), wife of Zeno Johnson; Eliza, wife of Thomas Beck; and James. Mrs. Harman died in 1882, and in 1892 Mr. Harman married Ida, daughter of Spencer and Amanda (Bryant) Horner, of Missouri. Mr. Horner and his wife came to the territory in 1889 and settled in Stephens County, Oklahoma. They were parents of ten children who lived to maturity, namely: Ida; Louis; Range; Russell; Lela, wife of William Boydston; Minnie, wife of Rude Clark; Harrison; Anna, wife of Charles McKee; Bertie; and Amans. By his second marriage Mr. Harman had five children who are living, as follows: Maggie, Edward, Mandy, Annie and Nannie.
JOHN G. HUKILL
An active and faithful worker in the interests of the general public, John G. Hukill, of Afton, is widely and favorably known as sheriff of Ottawa County, of which he has been a resident for the past eighteen years. When he came to Afton in 1892 the place was then, as now, a thrifty town and a junction point on the Frisco railroad. Here he was until his appointment to his present office an interested, active and influential business man, ever alive to the needs of the hour. A son of Gilder S. Hukill, he was born, September 27, 1847, in Marshall County, Illinois. His paternal grandfather, Ebenezer Hukill, spent the greater part of his life in Virginia, dying in Essex County.
Born in August, 1826, in Washington, D. C., Gilder S. Hukill remained there until sixteen years old, when he migrated to Virginia. He afterwards lived a number of years in Indiana, going from there to Illinois when the country' was new. Taking up land in Clark County, ho redeemed a homestead from the raw prairie, and on the farm that he improved lived until his death in 1892. While on his way west he married in Maryland Arminta Pratt, the daughter of a citizen of Dover, Maryland, and she is still living on the old home farm. The children born into their home were as follows: John G., the subject of this sketch; Sophia, wife of Nelson Snediker; Mary, who married Joseph Pope, and died in Illinois; William, of Clark County, Illinois; Charles, of McDonald County, Missouri; Delia, wife of C. P. Clapp, of Clark County, Illinois; Iona, widow of Johnson Lovell, of Clark County, Illinois; and Carrie, wife of Louis Mapes, of Vigo County, Indiana.
Assuming the duties of a teacher at the age of eighteen years, John G. Hukill taught in the rural schools of Clark County, Illinois, for eleven terms, but the work proving unsatisfactory from a financial point of view he laid down the birch and took up the hammer, plane and saw. Becoming proficient at the carpenter's trade, he subsequently followed it in Pueblo and Denver, Colorado, where he remained eight years. Coming from the latter city to Oklahoma, Mr. Hukill established himself as a hay dealer at Afton, and in that line of industry become known throughout a wide territory, having dealings with the leading hay markets of the southwest. He has been successful in his undertakings, now owning substantial property interests in Afton and farm lands nearby.
Always an active and influential Republican, Mr. Hukill was nominated for the lower house of the legislature for the new state in 1907, but was defeated at the polls. The first sheriff of the county being subsequently removed from office, Mr. Hukill, December 16, 1908, was appointed his successor, being the choice of the County Board, which was composed of both Democrats and Republicans. At the time of his appointment he was filling the position of mayor of Afton, rendering good service to his fellow townsmen.
On June 14, 1898, in Afton, Mr. Hukill married Addie Lewis, who was born in the Cherokee Nation in 1866. Her father, James Lewis, was brought into the Cherokee country by the Indians themselves as a millwright. He married, and their six children were all born in the Flint district. Mr. and Mrs. Hukill have one child, Rexley Hukill, born July 24, 1900. Fraternally Mr. Hukill holds high rank in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being a member of the Subordinate Lodge, the Encampment, the Canton and the Grand Lodge.
JUDGE GEORGE W. CLARK
Distinguished as one of the oldest native-born Cherokees, Judge George W. Clark, of Vinita, has performed an active and useful part in the official and business affairs of the Cherokee nation. His life spans a period of civil, military and commercial strife that can scarce be paralleled, and in it all he has met his full share of the responsibility, and has acquitted himself in a manner becoming a true citizen and an honorable man. His father, Joseph Clark, a white man, was the founder of the family in this locality.
Leaving his home in 1840, Joseph Clark settled in the Cherokee nation, about five miles west of Maysville, Arkansas, where he followed his trade of painter until his death during the Civil war. He married Mary Wood, a daughter of George and a Miss (Mayes) Wood, all of whom came to the Indian Territory from the old Cherokee nation in Georgia, Mr. Wood being a Cherokee by birth, while his wife was a white woman. She survived her husband but a short time. Five children were born to Joseph and Mary (Wood) Clark, namely: George W., the subject of this brief sketch; James, who was killed during the Civil war; Lucy A., wife of James Duncan, of Ottawa County, Oklahoma; Mrs. Elijah Young, of Fort Gibson, Oklahoma; and William, of Alluwe, Oklahoma.
Brought up in the Cherokee nation George W. Clark was just entering manhood when the tocsin of war resounded throughout the land, and in the following year of 1862 he enlisted for service in the Union army, joining a Cherokee company, and took an active part in the military proceedings west of the Mississippi river, remaining with his regiment until being mustered out in 1865.
Locating then near Tahlequah, Mr. Clark began the battle of life with as little property as ever an honest man confessed to, his young bride cheerfully sharing his privations and hardships. In 1868 he took up his residence on Grand River, southwest of Vinita, where he had a right to all the land he could fence in and handle. Opening up a farm in the fertile bottoms of the stream, he started in the cattle business, at the very first of his operations in that industry, in 1865, owning five cows and six calves. Twenty years later, Judge Clark sold his large herd of nine thousand cattle for enough money to pay off all of his indebtedness, and resumed his operations which he conducted successfully another score of years, when he retired from active pursuits, having by his energy, enterprise and shrewd management accumulated considerable wealth.
In 1894 Judge Clark settled in Vinita, coming here in order that his children might have the benefit of its excellent educational advantages, and has since maintained his residence here, having a magnificent home where he is surrounded by all the comforts and luxuries of life. He is officially connected with the First National Bank of Vinita and of the First National Bank of Miami, and is a director of the First National Bank of Chelsea. In the matter of political activity and public service, Judge Clark has had a markedly successful career, for sixteen years having been a prominent figure in the Nationalist party of Cherokee. He was first appointed sheriff of Delaware district, after which he was a member of the Delaware District Council for two years. He subsequently served as senator from that district for a like period of time, after which he had the honor of being elected prosecuting attorney of his district. In that position he showed such ability that he was put forward for judge of the four districts, embracing Tahlequah, Delaware, Saline, Cooweeskoowe, was elected and served eight years. The Judge was subsequently defeated for second chief, but was later returned to the Council from the Cooweeskoowe district, and was speaker of that body. He was again candidate for the senate, but being defeated abandoned politics. When national politics was introduced into the Indian Territory Judge Clark became affiliated with the Republican party, and in 1908 cast his first presidential vote in favor of Taft.
On June 8, 1865, Judge Clark married Lydia A. Scraper, who was born in Going Snake district, a daughter of George W. Scraper. She is a three-quarter Cherokee, while the Judge is one-fourth Cherokee. The Judge and Mrs. Clark are the parents of eight children, namely: Henry, of Vinita; James, who was graduated from the National Male Seminary, died unmarried at the age of twenty-four years; Lizzie, wife of Lee Barrett, of Vinita; Mrs. Dr. Frayser, of Vinita; Susan, wife of James Kell; George W., Jr., Ross; and Ava May.
WILLIS L. CHASE
A prominent representative of the legal profession in Adair County, has been a resident of Oklahoma since 1900, when he came into the Cherokee country and located at Claremore. He came from Fulton County, Arkansas, where he was born December 29, 1881, and where he was reared. He was educated in the public schools of his native county, and attended the high school at Salem. His father, William Dean Chase, settled in northeastern Arkansas, in 1872, having moved there from Gordon County, Georgia, where he passed many years subsequent to the Civil war in the manufacture of cotton goods. His aptitude for that business resulted from the fact that his father was one of the pioneers in the business in the south, and the activity and progress of the Chase concern seems not to have been interfered with or interrupted until the closing years of the war. The founder of the business, Dean Chase, passed his life in Georgia, and is buried amid the scenes of his business achievements.
William Dean Chase was born in Georgia, and was liberally educated, receiving a business training which assured his success in life in a financial way. He responded to the call of the south for men at the beginning of the rebellion, and served in Longstreet's corps of Lee's army while the internecine struggle was transpiring. He was captured sometime previous to the important events at Appomattox, and was held a prisoner of war at Rock Island at the close of the struggle. Upon disposing of his business interests in the early seventies and coming out to the timber country of the Mississippi Valley, he became interested in the lumber business and engaged in lumber manufacture. He established mills in Fulton County and other places, and became a well-known lumberman in that portion of the state. He dealt in yellow pine products, and followed this business closely until his death. He married Adaline H. Sprewell, a Georgia lady, who still resides in Fulton County, Arkansas. Their children were: Minerva, wife of Thomas Hammond, of Fulton County; Lewis A., of Calico Rock, Arkansas, successor of his father's milling business; Wilson A., a practicing attorney of Nowata, Oklahoma; Dr. James B., of Little River County, Arkansas; Robert H., a merchant of Seminole County, Oklahoma; Henry S., a farmer of Fulton County, Arkansas; Willis L., of this review; Leonard E., a druggist of Coffeyville, Kansas; Doxie, wife of John Stockard, of Fulton County, Arkansas; Fannie E., who married Milton H. Davis, a merchant of Henderson, Arkansas. All the children reached their majority before the demise of their father, and all were reared in a manner to fit them for responsibility and success in life.
Willis L. Chase inherited a taste for mechanics, and while attending school, when he was approaching manhood, he showed a natural aptitude for handling and operating machinery; about this time he managed to secure a pile driver used in the construction of the White River Division of the Missouri Pacific, and this he operated during the last of his stay in the state. However, he was dissuaded from the career of his choice and persuaded to take up the study of law, which he began on locating in Claremore. He read the text books necessary for the education of an embryonic lawyer in the office of his brother, W. A., in the lively frontier town of Claremore, and was admitted to the bar there November 1, 1904. He became a member of the legal firm of Chase & Chase, in which partnership he remained three years. In March, 1907, he came to Westville and formed a partnership with R. H. Couch, and the new firm constituted one of the leading firms of Adair County. Subsequently Mr. Couch removed to Tahlequah and Mr. Chase has since then been in practice alone.
The Chase family were Democratic in political principles, and Mr. Chase has served in the capacity of delegate in the state convention of the party. He is local attorney for the Kansas City Southern Railroad and legal adviser of the city of Westville, as well as deputy County Attorney of Adair County. He is a member of the Blue Lodge of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. Mr. Chase is a well educated, cultured man, and a valuable addition to the social and business life of the community.
On May 20, 1909, Mr. Chase married, at Rogers, Arkansas, Lula L. Phillips; she was born there October 6, 1883, and reared in her native place. She has been in business in Westville for several years, and is now assistant cashier of the Peoples Bank of Westville.
Louis A. WISMEYER
The head of the Wismeyer Mercantile Company of Fairfax, president of the First National Bank of the city, and prominently associated with many other important interests in the Osage country, came into the country in 1878 as a young man and accepted the position of chief clerk to the Indian agent by appointment of the commissioner of Indian affairs. He continued in this office until December of 1884, when he resigned and taking out a license as an Indian trader established a store in Pawhuska, but subsequently moved his business to Gray Horse and in 1903 to Fairfax. When it became evident to him that Gray Horse could not get the proposed line of the Santa Fe into the Osage country he arranged with old Yellow Horse on Salt creek to use forty acres of the latter's land as a site for a new town, and this deal was subsequently ratified by the Indian department and finally closed by a bill through Congress legalizing the action by establishing townsites at Pawhuska, Hominy, Foraker, Bigheart and Fairfax, and Mr. Wismeyer was among the commissioners from the nation to prevail upon Congress to make this litigation.
His mercantile interests in both Gray Horse and Fairfax have been the most extensive of the places, and at the same time his connection with the business interests of the communities have been important. Of the quarter section of land platted by the government for a townsite at Fairfax he acquired a valuable interest and early erected the large permanent business house in which his commercial affairs are carried on. In 1905 he took an interest in the establishing of a bank for the town, and became president of the First National Bank here. He has ever declined proffers or suggestions of the use of his name for public service.
Mr. Wismeyer came to Oklahoma from Council Grove, Kansas, where he had gone in 1873 and where he had obtained his first mercantile experience in the drug store of his uncle, Harry L. Richter, his mother's brother. He was born in Hamilton, Ohio, October 20, 1852, a son of Henry and Mary (Richter) Wismeyer, both German people. The father was born in Hamilton, Ohio, and died there in the early years of his life. Harry L. Richter early in life moved to Kansas and engaged in the drug business at Council Grove, while later he entered state politics and was subsequently three times elected lieutenant governor. Louis A- Wismeyer was one of four children of his parents and was educated in the Hamilton public schools, but left that state for the west just before attaining his majority and has spent more than a third of a century on the frontier. He married in Council Grove, Kansas, January 2, 1884, Miss Aggie Huffaker, a daughter of the well known pioneer Kansan, Judge Huffaker, one of the first settlers of old Shawnee Mission, one of the Santa Fe traders at Council Grove and Indian agent of the Kaws. One child has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Wismeyer, Miss Francis, who was educated in the Monticello (Illinois) Seminary. Both the members of the Wismeyer and Richter families are well known for their activity in Republican politics and for their business ability, being men of achievement, of personal magnetism and of sterling integrity.
JOHN E. JOHNSTON
The sheriff of Sequoyah County, is of Cherokee and Scotch blood and seems to have inherited a tendency toward the office which he so well fills, as his ancestors on both sides of the family for two generations have been peace officers of his nation. George Johnston, grandfather of the sheriff, was born in Arkansas, and was one of the first white men to locate in the Cherokee nation. He settled in the vicinity of Fort Smith as a thrifty trader, married Susan Gunter, a Cherokee woman, and became the father of Albert; a daughter who married Isaac Ragsdale; and Harry, of Sallisaw. The first named, who was the father of John E., was a farmer and a stock man; entered Cherokee politics in early life, and had commenced his second term as sheriff when, at the age of thirty, he was shot from ambush at the Fort Smith river landing. He had married Delilah Baldridge, daughter of Blue Baldridge, once sheriff of the Sequoyah district and whose son also held the office. The Baldridges were Cherokees, and sometime after her husband's death Mrs. Johnston married Calvin Fargo, and is again a widow, living at Muldrow. The Johnston children were John E., of this sketch, and Sallie, and the Fargo offspring is as follows: Myrtle, Mrs. George Watts; and Walter and David. John E. Johnston was born near Muldrow, Oklahoma, on the 21st of March, 1881, and passed his boyhood and youth on the paternal farm and in the acquirement of an education at the Cherokee Male Seminary, Tahlequah. When he assumed the duties of citizenship he became a farmer himself, cultivating his land and raising stock until he assumed the shrievalty in 1907, the first to hold that office under the state government. In the contest for the Democratic nomination there were six candidates, among whom were Mr. Johnston and his uncle by the same name. The former won by a fair margin and was elected over his Republican opponent by fifty-one votes, leading the entire county ticket. Sheriff Johnston is one of the youngest county officers in the state and probably is the youngest holding his office; his good record is therefore to be especially commended. On December 25, 1906, Mr. Johnston married Miss Ida McKinney, daughter of Alexander McKinney, a Cherokee, and the issue of this union is Albert Sidney. The father took his family allotments near Gano, in which locality are his comfortable homestead and his farming interests.
JEFFERSON DAVIS COX
One of the leading attorneys of Tahlequah, first became a citizen of Oklahoma in 1893, when he became the pioneer lawyer of Chelsea. He was born in Walhalla, South Carolina, October 1, 1861, and is a son of Harmon Cox, born in Pickens District, South Carolina, in 1808. Harmon Cox was a son of William Cox, a rich planter, slave owner and man of influence in that district before the war. William Cox was a soldier in the war of 1812, also in the Mexican war, where he was a companion of Jefferson Davis in the Buena Vista fight. The Cox family are of English origin, and their progenitors are four brothers, two of whom settled in New England, one in South Carolina and one in Georgia.
Harmon Cox married Adeline Landreth, daughter of Presley Landreth, who died when she was a child. Mr. Cox died in Baxter County, Arkansas, in 1873, and his widow resides in Mountain Home, same state. The issue of this union was: Frank F., of Mountain Home; Matilda, married William Pitt, of Blackcreek, Arkansas; James H., who died in Nowata, Oklahoma, in 1908; Jefferson D.; Lou, wife of John F. Williams, of Cumi, Arkansas; and E. H., of Claremore, Oklahoma. Harmon had previously had a number of children by his first marriage with a Miss Holcomb, and they were: General William Cox, a wealthy business man of Greenville, South Carolina, and a prominent ex-Confederate soldier; Allen, who was killed in battle as a Confederate soldier; Elizabeth, widow of John Stubblefield, a resident of North Carolina; Mary A., who married John Duke, and moved to Texas, and from them no word has been received for many years; and Malinda, who became the wife of Sam P. Briggs, of Kingston, East Tennessee.
Jefferson D. Cox completed his education in Gaskell's Business College at Jersey City, New Jersey, from which he graduated in 1883; he had come east from Arkansas, whither his parents removed in 1869. Upon leaving school Mr. Cox was appointed chief office deputy in the sheriff's office in Baxter County, Arkansas, and for some time after his retirement from office carried on farming, at the same time reading law. He subsequently removed to Green County, Missouri, and was admitted to the bar at Springfield before Judge Neville, to practice in the lower courts, and before Judge Phillips to practice in the United States courts. He returned to South Carolina and tried his first suit before a justice of the peace there; the case related to the attempt of a merchant to collect an account by attaching a fanner's cotton. He represented the defense, and won his case. He opened his first regular office in Springfield, Missouri, where he remained until his removal to Oklahoma and location at Chelsea.
At the time of Mr. Cox's location in the Cherokee country the practice of his profession was rather an experiment in the small towns, and lawyers frequently found themselves changing the field of their labors, in search of more promising conditions, where they might more frequently receive the reward of their work. During the first eleven years in Oklahoma he changed his residence from Chelsea to Nowata, from there to Claremore, thence to Wagoner and thence to Tahlequah in 1905. At each of these places he became a member of a law firm; while in Wagoner he became one of the firm of Cox & Coursey, and the same relations were resumed when both came to Tahlequah, being dissolved only when Mr. Coursey became County Attorney of Cherokee County. In his practice of recent years Mr. Cox has made a specialty of criminal cases and practice in the United States departments, both in the territory and in Washington, where he has made a reputation as a strong limb of the law.
In the matter of business ventures Mr. Cox has sought opportunities for investment in land deals and in the promotion of enterprises for the prospecting of oil fields around Claremore. He has become the owner of considerable land in different parts of the state, consisting of one thousand acres in Cherokee County, also land in Rogers, Washington, Nowata, Mayes and Sequoyah counties. Large areas of this land have been brought into cultivation, and many acres of it were planted to corn in 1909.
In politics Mr. Cox has identified himself with the interests of the Democratic Party, and in 1907 was a strong candidate for the nomination for senator; in the convention two hundred and seventy-two ballots were cast without a nomination, and Mr. Cox then withdrew, the nominee being Mr. Landrum, who was subsequently elected. He is an enterprising and business-like man, of pleasant, dignified manner, and in his ideas of subjects in general is up-to-date and progressive, and keeps himself well informed on current events and topics.
Mr. Cox married, October 2, 1884, at Mountain Home, Arkansas, Lizzie, daughter of Jeff Hawkins, a farmer and an emigrant from Tennessee. She was born in Ozark County, Arkansas, in 1868, and died in Tahlequah, May 22, 1907. Their children are: Maud M., wife of J. I. Coursey, County Attorney and abstractor of Tahlequah; Mary A. and William G.
Slayton A. Fargo
One of the leading farmers of Muldrow and a worthy representative of one of the old Cherokee families of Sequoyah County, was born near Paw Paw, Arkansas, March 13, 1873, but his parents soon afterward returned to the Cherokee Nation and he grew up in the vicinity of the little town where he now makes his home. His father, Calvin Fargo, was born in Georgia during the forties and immigrated to the Cherokee Nation before the Civil war. He was one-sixteenth-blood Cherokee, and was once a member of the national council, having been elected as a Downing man. He was a prosperous farmer, and died in 1899. He married, first, Susan, a daughter of Thompson McKinney, a Choctaw, who was a man of prominence in the affairs of that Indian nation. The first wife died in 1884, being the mother of: William Lafayette, a stockman of Muldrow; Slayton A. and Cora. Delilah Johnson became the second wife of Calvin Fargo, and their children were: Myrtle, who married George Watts, of Muldrow; Joe L., Walter and David.
Slayton A. Fargo received his education in the Tahlequah Male Seminary. His native industry and the training which he received on the farm while growing up assured his success in his subsequent career as farmer and stockman. He began on his own account when about twenty years old, and has been engaged in the kindred industries of farming and stock-raising ever since. When he made a home for himself it was in a box house with no luxuries, and his later prosperity is evidenced in his present home, which is one of the best farm cottages in the county. His farm comprises one hundred and seventy-five acres, having taken as his allotment the same land which he has always tilled.
Mr. Fargo is a Democrat, and he and family belong to the Methodist church. He married, April 3, 1907, Miss Nellie Treat. She was born in July, 1886, being a daughter of Frank Treat, of Johnson County, Arkansas. They have one child, Fay Fargo.
WALTER J. PACK
He has for the past dozen years been identified with education as a practical force, and his work in Oklahoma has stamped itself indelibly upon the lives of those within his charge. He represents a family whose members have many of them consecrated their lives to the spread of the gospel, and who are able workers in this field of usefulness. It was in the dual capacity of preacher and teacher that Walter J. Pack first located in Tahlequah, as the head of the Baptist Mission Academy and as pastor of the Baptist church.
The Pack family was founded in Virginia by their English progenitor previous to the Revolution. The great-grandfather of Walter J., Samuel Packe, was a planter and slave owner in Virginia, where he died. He seems to have been an Indian fighter in defense of the locality, and beyond these facts little has been obtained regarding his career. Besides his son Loami he had one other child. Loami held to the vocation of his father, and he served with the United States troops in the Mexican war. He married Polly Lively, and they became parents of ten children, of whom the youngest, John L., was the father of Walter J.
John L. Pack was born in Virginia in 1832, was liberally educated, became a very successful farmer, and reared his family to industry and correct principles of morality. Being of the wealthy and slave-holding class in the days before the war he was bound by ties of sympathy and interest to the southern cause, and in 1861 entered ins services in the Confederate army as a member of Lowery's Battery in Lee's Army, where he served four years. When peace again reigned Mr. Pack resumed his home on the farm and remained a successful stock farmer until the time of his death. He possessed rare social gifts, was a man of deep convictions and strict adherence to his principles, and numbered his friends throughout the whole of Monroe County, West Virginia.' He was a Democrat of the strongest type, a deacon in the Baptist church and a worker and chief officer in the Sabbath school. He married Jane Ellison. He died in 1895, and his widow lives in the homes of her three worthy and honored sons. Walter J. is the oldest, and -the others are: Charles Henry, pastor of the Baptist church in Parsons, West Virginia, and Luther, pastor of the Baptist church in Hambleton, West Virginia. Rev. Henry Pack is a graduate of the West Virginia State Normal at Concord, of the Theological Seminary at Louisville, Kentucky, and attended Richmond College at Richmond, Virginia. Luther Pack finished a special course at the Richmond College and graduated from Crozer Seminary at Chester, Pennsylvania, in 1908.
Walter J. Pack was born in Monroe County, West Virginia, October 23, 1868, and after attending the public school attended summer courses at normal schools and at private schools, graduated from the state normal at Concord, attended Richmond College, and spent one year in Lebanon University. He finished the course in the Louisville Theological Seminary in 1901. While completing his education he helped out his financial resources by teaching in graded schools, and also for a time conducted a private normal at Lindside, West Virginia. He also taught some in the English department in the Concord State Normal his senior year, and in every position he filled demonstrated his ability as a teacher. After completing his theological work at Louisville Mr. Pack came to the Cherokee country to assume the post of president of the Cherokee Academy at Tahlequah and to become pastor of the Baptist church. The work at both school and church became so arduous in the two years he remained in charge of both and his bodily vigor was so heavily taxed that a proper regard for his health necessitated his resigning from the pastorate. During his work in the church he had doubled the membership, multiplied the contributions by four, and left a congregation united in brotherly feeling and sympathy, thus furnishing an unusually good foundation on which his successor might build.
Upon assuming charge of the academy Rev. Pack found the building a small frame affair, with three teachers doing ungraded work and a Presbyterian school as competitor. He first made the acquaintance of the supporters of the school and then made his ideas and needs known. His needs were chiefly financial, but his cause so commended itself that responses to his call for aid grew in liberality until a new brick building was erected and paid for, new equipment took the place of the old, and new departments were added to give the pupils full academic work. The enrollment increased to two hundred and thirty-five, and students came in from all over this hill country, and all the highways and byways received credit for contributing toward the support in students of the school at Tahlequah. The additions to the curriculum included music, art and commercial courses. More ground was added to the campus, which was cleaned up and fenced in, and made an ideal spot for the location of an institution of learning such as occupied it. While Rev. Pack was carrying on his work as the head of this institution and doing his part as a citizen of the town he was also doing effective work as a lecturer before student and educational bodies, addressing gatherings interested in church, educational or social problems, and in other lines showing the purpose of his life and its accomplishment.
As the Baptists had two institutions near together, one at Bacone and one at Tahlequah, they decided to combine the two schools and consolidate the interests at Bacone, as there were excellent reasons why the school at that point could not be transferred to Tahlequah. As the people of Tahlequah had helped to such an extent in the progress of their academy it was decided to sell the academy building to the city at a reduced price; it left a record in the educational world and among the Cherokees of nothing but high standards and good deeds. When the academy closed its doors its former president became principal of the high school at Tahlequah, and continued his work in the same building. He began with the fall term in 1908, and in the month of May, 1909, six students graduated, the first class under statehood from the city schools. When the Northeastern State Normal School was located at Tahlequah the state having purchased the building and grounds of the National Cherokee Female Seminary for normal purposes, Professor Pack was elected by the Board of Regents to the chair of History and Civics.
In the campaign for temperance in Oklahoma as the two territories were preparing to combine, Professor Pack urged the importance and expediency of bringing about prohibition by constitutional enactment, and was a member of several committees appointed for the purpose of promoting the action. He made many speeches in this cause, and it is the result of influence of godly men like himself throughout the state that the measure of prohibition won the day all over the commonwealth. He is president of the Law and Order League of Tahlequah, and a councilman for Tahlequah for the Fourth ward. In company with Professor Redd, Professor Pack purchased a portion of the old academy campus and platted it as the "Academy Addition" to Tahlequah. The property is the choice residence site of the city, and is being rapidly built up. He owns business houses on Main street, erected by himself, the material being the modern one, concrete; these property interests prove him to be one of the permanent and substantial citizens of Tahlequah, and one believing in the old capital's future. In Masonry he has attained the Scottish Rite degree and is chaplain of Tahlequah Blue Lodge; he is also a member of the Knights of Pythias, belongs to the Eastern Star, and is a Woodman of the World.
Professor Pack married, at Willow Bend, West Virginia, Lida, daughter of Frank Ralston, an extensive farmer and stock raiser; she was educated in the Woman's College at Richmond, and was herself a teacher. Their children are: Marian, Elizabeth and Frances.
Back to Page 27
Back to Biographies